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Shopping Strategies

Here are a few ideas on how to save time and money while you spend it. Let us know what you find helpful. We would appreciate your suggestions.

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  • Shopping Strategies
  • Basis for Deciding
  • Auction Houses
  • Home Energy
  • Your comments???

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    another page on this site Money


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    Shopping theme music

    Set screen Shopping Strategies


      • Make up a Shopping List. Arrange your list so you can take a straight, fast, route through the market.
      • Keep track of prices on your list. This also helps you budget how much money you will spend.
      • Check your calendar to make sure that you will have the time to consume fresh food that will spoil and also to buy enough if you will have extra people.
      • Set aside time to clip coupons close to the time and day coupon specials appear (Thursday or Sunday morning).
      • To avoid missing out, schedule time to shop as quickly as you can after specials are advertised.
      • Clean up the refrigerator while it's empty.


      1. Know the industry.

      2. Begin with comparison shopping sites which scan many websites for products containing keywords specified.

        Book Price Comparison

        Search by:
        Shipping Destination:
        U.S. State:
        (for sales tax)
        Display in:

        Searching for Out of Print Books? [Click Here]

      3. Investigate each seller at

        Here are some tactics I've experienced personally:

        • Selling refurbished items, which has 90-day rather than 1 year warranty.
        • InfinitiPhoto has mandatory 6% insurance on shipping. and require insurance for shipping.
        • Plasmakings told me "the price does not include batteries and charger"
        • 7 day return policy
        • 10% restocking charge

        Reminder Do not take the risk of buying from someone with a bad record. Personally, I would rather pay extra to Costco, which honors their excellent return policy. It's a lot easier enforcing the extended warranty from a person at a local Best Buy store than someone thousands of miles away.

      4. Auctionson this page Before you bid, email the seller to see if they are responsive and answer promptly and professionally.

        Good sellers answer these questions without you having to ask:

        • Is the item used or "new in box"?
        • Is it really the model? (I've been shipped an old model)
        • Are all manuals and accessories (batteries, chargers, CD with drivers)
        • Does the item come with drives that work with Windows XP (or whatever you wish to integrate).
        • Will the item be shipped in the original box, plus an outer container?
        • Is the item operational?
        • What scratches (even minor)?
        • Do you charge more for shipping than UPS/Fedex/USPS cost to you?
        • Will you give a full refund if I am not satisfied?
        • What is the time?
        • Do you have a phone number I can call in case I have a question or a problem?

        Caution! Avoid bidding on "as is" items and from sellers who have new storefronts or sellers with no return policy.

      5. Immediately after you bid:
        • Click File > Save As a copy of the page as Type "Web Archive" in a single file with pictures. This takes less space and doesn't create a new folder as Save As Type "Web Page, Complete".
        • Send money right away.
        • Before writing your feedback, wait until you can use what you buy.
        • Write the seller immediately if you any issues, since some have short (10 day) periods.
        • The possibility of a negative feedback may be your only leverage. So don't file negative feedback unless you've tried to contact the seller at least 3 times.

        Dry-Goods Stores


      • Get driving directions from Expedia Maps, Mapquest (with photos of streets by A9) or my new favorite: (draggable)

        • use the arrow keys to pan left, right, up and down
        • the page up, page down, home and end keys let you pan out even wider
        • the plus (+) key to zoom in and the minus key (-) to zoomg out.

      • Avoid long lines during the rush hour. Many supermarkets in major cities are open 24 hours.
      • Do other errands before buying frozen foods (like going to the post office, filling up on gasoline, etc.).

      • Bring cooler bag to carry frozen foods back and bring carrying bags to save landfills.
      • Bring your Shopping List and a List of foods you don't want or are allergic to so that if you see a new item you want, you can remember.
      • Bring a calculator so you can calculate different pricing offers.
      • Bring spare change from home so they don't pile up.

      In the Store

      • Get heavy items first (canned food, dog food bags, etc.) so they don't squash breads and fresh produce.
      • Put bread under the basket where they are safe from getting crushed by other items. Yet they're light enough to pick up from the bottom.
      • Don't risk a back injury. If something's heavy, ask (tip) a clerk to load it in your cart and take it to your car.
      • Visit the frozen items isle last.
      • Don't leave your wallet or purse unattended on the cart.
      • Ask store clerks:
        • Have you seen much customer returns on this item?
        • What is your opinion of these products? Is this what you buy for your own family? (example: “What do you feel is the difference between this brand and this one?” Would you buy this for your family?)
        • When might this item go on sale in the future?
        • Can I get a rain checks (store's written guarantee of a future price) if special items are not available.
      • Before buying because of a rebate, get the coupon in hand.

      In the Check-Out Line

      • Ask to put frozen foods back in your own insulated carrier or paper bags —they keep food colder. but plastic bags are easier to carry.
      • Put frozen items in the car last so they are the first out the car.
      • Return carts to their corral rather than leaving them to take up a space in the parking lot. It's good excercise. It sets a good example of kindness for the kids.

      Back Home

      • Write a date on perishable items (frozen foods).
      • Put new items in the back of a shelf behind older items so people finish older items first.
      • Make a list of what is inside instead of opening and staring in the refrigerator (which uses up electricity to cool the refrigerator down again)
      • If you check off what you consume, you'll keep the list current and have a ready-made Shopping List.
      • Put bread in the freezer and batteries in the refrigerator.

      • If you bought an electrical or electronic item:
        • Record the type of plug on the item (such as "12V 100mA" or "9V DC 60mA") and label what the converter plugs into.
        • Register on manufacturer website to obtain warranty emails (and also junk mail).
        • Search within newsgroups for discussions about the product before installing it.
        • Download the latest drivers from the manufacturer.
        • Store receipts, instruction manuals, and extra parts together in the same bag. Bundle manuals and CD's or diskettes for the same item together.
        • To avoid identity theft, do not provide birthdates and social security number.
        • Use a POBOX address rather than the address where you store that expensive item.

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    Set screen Why Buy: Basis of Buying Decision

    • Friend/Relative
    • Brand Reputation
    • Magazine Report
    • Saw on Store Shelf
    • In-Store Demonstaration (al la Costco)
    • Salesperson
    • Cosmetics
    • Price/Value
    • Warranty
    • Other

    Scoutpal looks up prices from WAP phones.

    What Would Jesus Buy? is a 2008 independently produced film featuring an over-the-top Southern preacher riling against the consumer culture. Is this a real sermon masking as a parody?

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    Set screen Traditional (and Modern) Anniversary Gifts

      First - Paper (Clocks)
      Second - Cotton (China)
      Third - Leather (Crystal/Glass)
      Fourth - Fruit/Flowers (Appliances)
      Fifth - Wood (Silverware)
      Sixth - Candy/Iron
      Seventh - Wool/Copper (Desk Sets)
      Eighth - Bronze/Pottery
      Ninth - Pottery/Willow (Linen/Lace)
      Tenth - Tin/Aluminum (Leather)
      Eleventh - Steel (Jewlery)
      Twelfth - Silk/Linen (Pearls)
      Thirteenth - Lace (Textiles/Furs)
      Fourteenth - Ivory (Gold jewlery)
      Fifteenth - Crystal (Watches)
      Twentieth - China (Platinum)
      Twenty-Fifth - Silver
      Thirtieth - Pearl (Diamond)
      Thirty-Fifth - Coral (Jade)
      Fortieth - Ruby
      Forty-Fifth - Sapphire
      Fiftieth - Gold
      Fifty-fifth - Emerald
      Sixtieth - (Double) Diamond

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    Set screen Auctions:

      According to Jupiter Media Metrix, here are the top auction sites and their share of the estimated total 32.3 million visitors as of January 2002:

      Site Unique visitors Pct. Notes
      eBay 28,900,000 89% download ebay Pal
      Yahoo Auctions 3,700,000 11% Retired June, 2007
      U Bid 3,100,000 10%
      Andale sites 2,100,000 7% 977,000 3% gone. 612,000 2% 487,000 7% gone. 279,000 1.5% gone. 262,000 .8% & Amazon

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    Set screen Bartering

      Chinese word for barter painted on a wall (AFP/Str)
    • Barter-bay facilities tax-free bartering at 5% commissions.
    • Others: BX,FB,BB, Accept BXI, Crump, Intagio, FirstBarter
    • National Barter Consultants. 800.841.7936

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    Set screen Energy

      Recent deregulation of the electrical energy supply industry is creating opportunities.

    • Southern California Edison touts their renewable energy sources.
    • California Public Utlities Commission has its Knowledge Is Power site.
    • Few possible futures are more tantalizing than those with "free" energy. In the May 1997 issue of Discover Magazine, science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke noted in an interview that, of all future developments, the one that intrigues him most at this stage is Zero-point energy from water! According to Clarke, some 7000 laboratories around the world are researching what it is, how it works, how to tap it, control it and use it. When successful, as Clarke believes they will be, earlier energy forms will become largely obsolete. In an interview taped for PBS's Scientific American Frontiers, Harold E. Puthoff, the director of the Institute for Advanced Studies, observed: "For the chauvinists in the field like ourselves, we think the 21st century could be the zero-point-energy age."

      Wasn't this the plot of some movie? It's one of the future's wild cards.

      ''Electricity'' by Jay Hall.   Get this print framed on your wall!
      Get this print framed for your wall!

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